My translation of a brief essay by Jenny Erpenbeck on the fall of the Berlin Wall was published in The Guardian on November 9, 2019. Read it here.
My latest article, published in April in The German Quarterly, discusses Regina Ullmann’s fiction, a Heimatfilm called Hoch droben auf dem Berg, and contemporary digital art by Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg. It’s an exploration of how the concept of Heimat interacts with the idea of mediation, with the alliterative title “High‐Tech Heimat: Mountains and Mediation in Literature, Film, and Digital Art.”
Jenny Erpenbeck in World Literature Today
“My writing began with reflections on borders, reflections on how we change over the course of our lives, voluntarily or involuntarily, reflections on what identity is, and how much we can lose without losing ourselves.” Read my translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s 2018 Puterbaugh Keynote lecture, online in World Literature Today.
“Do the New Poets Think? It’s Possible”
My latest article is now online (behind a paywall) in Configurations: “‘Do the New Poets Think? It’s Possible’: Computer Poetry and Cyborg Subjectivity.” Kurt Vonnegut, Alan Turing, Max Bense, computers writing poetry, disaster on the high seas, this article has it all.
Kafka in New York
On November 11 I’ll be at Deutsches Haus with Reiner Stach to read from and discuss his book Is that Kafka? 99 Finds. My English translation of the book came out this year and has gotten some excellent reviews. Admission is free, so please come join us!
Dada in TRANSIT
My latest article, “Dada Futures: Inflation, Speculation, and Uncertainty in Der Dada No. 1,” is now online in the latest issue of TRANSIT journal: “the attitude that pervades Der Dada No. 1 is one that exploits the future’s inherent uncertainty, treating the future as such as a field for speculation and profit, transforming the future into futures.”
Three Percent shout-out
Chad Post on The Country Road: I don’t remember seeing a lot of coverage for this book when it first came out, which is both strange and disappointing. Her writing is weird in that way that a lot of literary readers and reviewers seem to enjoy. Robert Musil called her a “genius.” There are blurbs on the book jacket by Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Mann, and Hermann Hesse. Kurt Beals won a PEN Heim Translation Award for this….
Ullmann reviewed in the NYRB
Michael Hofmann writes: “What Ullmann has to say to us is somehow exemplary, uncomfortable, difficult, long-buried; it is from our midst, but also slightly from above, and also from below. It refuses distance, and in its designs on us doesn’t mind changing angle, direction, and even plane. […] We come away from her, as she dazzlingly puts it (and she is absolutely right!), ‘greatly enriched but slightly diminished.” The New York Review of Books
Out this month (Jan. 2015)!
My translation of Regina Ullmann, The Country Road, from New Directions.
Recipient of a 2014 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant.
(For some reason this WordPress format doesn’t display links in blog posts — weird, right? — so click on the title to see the post with links.)
Read the story “Strawberries” and my introduction on the PEN website.
Read the story “The Mouse” and my introduction in Two Lines Online (2010).
Read the story “The Christmas Visit” in Little Star Weekly (subscription required)
Publishers Weekly review of Regina Ullmann translation
“German-language literature, from Rilke to Thomas Mann, has often merged psychological landscapes with the natural world, but women have been underrepresented—or undertranslated. Enter Swiss protomodernist Ullmann, whose unclassifiable and deeply original 1921 collection has undergone a triumphant translation (the first in English) by Beals.” Read the whole review here.